Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Monday, September 1, 2014

Our Weekend~

Our Lunch View~
We spent a lot of time driving...  Sat. errands, all the stuff that always needs doing when Butch is home & someone has to do it...  Since it was a three-day weekend & we had a movie we wanted to see - the bulb went out in the projector without warning.  We found a temporary fix for that & did enjoy our movie!

Sun. we drove the way less traveled to Issaquah, visiting a member of our family who took a fall & was in need of some entertainment to pass the time.  We decided that an MP3 player loaded with a few good audio books would do the trick.  We also stopped in Monroe at the Giddy-UP Barbecue for lunch to take out & take with!  (Thanks Linnea!)

Finally - today - was ours!  What to do?  We ended up on Chuckanut Drive & at the Oyster Bar.  I'm not into posting food photos - but I'll make an exception, since it's a condiment - not food. :-)
We continued north on Chuckanut Drive & stopped by what's become our favorite art gallery & sculpture garden.  Only having visited once before in the winter months - we were amazed at the tiny, but mighty garden area they have - full of incredible art of all kinds.  I'll let the photos do the talking...
Fire red impaitents~

Copper Butterflies~
Glass art!
Visiting places like this always rekindles the little gardening fire that simmers inside me - but is usually dampened by my time in the saddle.  It's hard to delicate enough time to do both well - so guess what wins out?  
Looking for interesting places in Bellingham, I found that they have an arboretum.  I'd printed up the trail map before we left home, it didn't look complicated & the entrance was easy to find.  We parked up at the end of the access road & hiked to the lookout tower.
50 some easy steps to the top~
What was once a beautiful view of the bay has been mostly taken out by the growth of Alders & new Big Leaf Maples.  From what I've read, there's a plan to cut them & re-open the view.  
The "view"~
We hiked the longest trail there, then looped back up to where we'd parked.  The park has some nice Douglas Fir, but I was disappointed otherwise.  Being in the middle of town & close to the College - this poor piece of land has had years of hard use.  People have tried to cut between trails, damaged the ground cover & caused serious erosion in many places.  Invasive plants too have gained a foothold - the worst of which is ivy...
The culprit~
Seeing it choking out the big trees is so disgusting.   Discovery Park in Seattle is another place where 100's of volunteer hours have been spent trying to remove it & it still comes back.  If you buy ivy & decide you no longer want it - put it in the garbage or burn it!  Don't think you're doing the environment any favors by tossing it out into the woods!
Douglas Fir - Ivy shrouded
Clouds moved in & by the time we'd hiked all the way back - uphill - we felt like we'd at least worked off that lunch!  It was gorgous driving back along Chuckanut with the views of the water.  I picked up a detailed map of the area that includes the Blanchard Forest Block.  Soon I want to make the drive up there & spend a day riding & exploring the trails.  I've only been there a few times, always with others who know the trails.  Another plan for another ride!  :-)

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